Tag Archives: depression

My Mental Health Battle Will Never Be a Success Story

It’s 2018. The conversation around mental illness within society is now present, prominent and closer to being completely accepted by all. But while the topic is one that can now be discussed openly, it is no longer portrayed in a light that I, personally, feel safe speaking in as a veteran soldier.

I have been diagnosed with clinical depression and anxiety since I was about 12 years old. My internal issues first became notable after a tragic experience from my childhood triggered very prominent symptoms and continuous distress that carried into my older youth. I can remark on having been in and out of therapists’, psychologists’, psychiatrists, cognitive behavioral specialists’ and social workers’ offices since then. I even spent time in a psychiatric hospital following one of my multiple suicide attempts.

As many who have become familiar with my journey over the last few years have witnessed, my battle with my mental health is nowhere near an end, despite there being many other social media “advocates” declaring it possible.

That’s because it does not end for those like me.

It does not simply stop by and then pass through as it overstays its welcome. It is not a trend, a phase, or a period that we overcome “once and for all.”

There is a keen difference between suffering from depression and simply going through a series of stressful down periods in one’s lifetime, and that is currently the thin, problematic line that makes it difficult to prosper in the mental health conversation. I currently am crying for help in a world that can not distinguish between the two and is over-saturating the perspective of depression and anxiety. This has truly ignited a scarring ember inside of my spirit.

Through many traumatic and triggering events accumulating over the last year alone, I have become consumed by my darkness. This pin planted on my heart is permanently nailed onto me no matter where I run, hide, or how I portray myself on social media and anywhere else publicly.

Back in the summer of 2016, I decided to embrace God’s gift and curse upon me for what I thought was the greater good of the overall mental health conversation. I wanted to share my battle while I was currently in the midst of it to bring a raw and honest sense of the pain to the table, rather than the post-war triumph. The responses have been a mix of encouragement, praise, and overwhelming support, but also shaming, victim-blaming, accusing and false-rumor-starting that have essentially ruined the previous life I worked tirelessly to build for myself. Those negatives have torn me, my career, friendships and many other aspects apart, but it is not what has broken me the most.

This is the real epiphany.

Being a mental illness scapegoat has been the most substantially hurtful burden I could have ever put upon myself. Yes. I truly wanted to help people as much as I thought I could, and still do. I wanted to create a safer environment for those who consistently hurt like me and have to mask their constant battle scars. I wanted to shed light in a realer sense. But opening up a coffin leaves room for new demons to peek in. My public journey gave plenty of opportunity for others to take advantage and destroy me from the inside out.

And they won.

This has transformed my entire view on myself, my voice, my light and anything else I thought was remarkably worthy about me.

I chose to acknowledge my issues publicly and, coinciding with that, I chose to suffer publicly. I did so in order to not just raise awareness, but to help those who feel alone in their struggles feel a little less by themselves. Ironically, in sharing my current sufferings in the moment, I am now left to feel more alone than ever. Even abandoned in a way. Of course, some have shared their previous dealings, situations and stories with me privately, and at times, I have been commended for sharing my truth, which previously kept me motivated. Often I am told “You are not alone, ” and while that is extremely truthful, there is a larger sense that leaves me in the dark being that I feel like the solely vulnerable one in public.

I feel caught in a battlefield without any army. Not many around me are open in sharing their dark periods and being vulnerable openly in the moment. But I completely understand why. In fact, I understand now more than ever why others like myself choose to be silent with their journey. While there are positive chapters scattered throughout our time on this Earth, we know there are no true happy endings to our life books. Sometimes, the encouragement to get over these depressive bridges can also be extremely discouraging if we don’t have the tools, energy or resources to do so.

My soul is aching with a lot of regret for having shared my truths, as much as I hate to say it. I feel like I sacrificed myself into the fire around some who only wanted to watch the flames grow. It’s hard to be the example. It’s even harder to still not be a success story like social media threads, op-eds, vlogs and other content try and portray will come one day for the depressed.

My battle is unfortunately eternal and the success can only come in bits and pieces, but not as a whole. That’s the fate I was gifted, but also harshly tested with.

Clinical depression does not get a fairy tale ending. Anxiety disorders do not disintegrate into the atmosphere like a super villain’s defeat. They are demons that will be at every corner and avenue ready to pounce upon my positive thoughts, experiences and energies. All I can do is prepare to fight for my spirit each and every day. And right now, I’m at a point of exhaustion, bearing no more weapons. It feels like I am fighting my demons with my bare hands and have no more lives left. The pressure to reach this “overcoming” point feels insurmountable. I may never have that positive, victorious comeback that amazing spirits have been praying for for me.

Because I will not overcome this.

I can only find new tools and techniques to cope with it and pray to the heavens that they hold up in war. That is the harsh, raw reality that many like myself have already faced or will be unfortunately slapped with soon enough.

If you are like me, please understand that you are far from alone. And not in the manner of alone for what you go through, but however you choose to go through it. If you are hoping to share your story the same way, I commend you, but plead to you to proceed with caution. Your suffering is not a “dark secret.” It is a hurtful, somewhat frightening, but beautiful truth that only you are required to face and own up to for YOUR potential betterment. Do not let any evil spirits of the world, a “brand,” a reckless coping mechanism, Social Media Supreme Court etc. pressure you into feeling or moving otherwise.

Embrace who you are to the fullest on your time and within your heart and voice’s comfortability. Don’t let anyone take your shine. Your light is sensitive enough as it is.

The battles never end, but depression has not rigged the war.

A Letter to My Suicidal Thoughts

Dear Suicidal Thoughts,

This is not you talking, and yet these words come from the hands and the mind of your own. You and I have been through a great deal together, although a goal for most humans is to never actually meet in the first place.

I thought I saw the last of you in high school, and then again once more in college, but unfortunately, you’ve been a pretty close companion over the last few months alone.

When you appear, you love to bring uninvited guests with you that deter me from my day-to-day priorities and necessary thoughts.

I wish I could say that it’s been a pleasure to get to know worthlessness, trauma, and even hopelessness, but they haven’t been too friendly as they occupy a larger space in my life. In fact, they’ve given more than they’ve taken, and it feels as though love, care, and gratitude have been run out of town because these culprits have overstayed their welcome in my home.

Your presence in my life has become more sinister than a lesson to me. To me, you are becoming a ghost that is haunting me and drifting over my shoulder like a storm cloud, ready to downpour at any moment. It doesn’t take much for you to start raining these days, as frequent pain and scars that haven’t healed love to come in and push your buttons.

While I understand your place in my life, I somehow cannot manage to create a garden of emotional radiance that could benefit from the floods of your raging storms. Plenty of friends and family have been delivering seeds of complimentary hope, but I can no longer carry the wheelbarrow of soil to plant them in.

You and I have taken our disputes to God night-after-night, and even to professionals, but while we’ve come to agreements and mediated our issues head-on, you still demand to occupy space in my life on a longer-term basis.

I don’t know if I have the motivation nor strength to hand you a permanent eviction notice anymore.

What made you want to stay with me in the first place? Were you slated to knock on my door since my birth? Or did you simply get thrown out by an enemy who wanted you to leave their own home, and invited you wrongfully to mine?

Maybe you came because we have more in common than I ever thought. Maybe I was meant to meet your toxic friends and give in to their demands. Maybe you are supposed to be the victor in the end.

But rationale would prove that that wouldn’t make sense.

You should know that I have the strength somewhere inside of me to send you away from my life and replace you. I know that deep down, I will be able to banish you from having a strong place in my life. Like every storm, there is a rainbow within it, hiding as it awaits for the sunshine to unfold.

The light at the end of the tunnel isn’t there just yet, but if I can hold out long enough and push through this horrific stay of yours, I have faith we may be able to become estranged.

When that light comes, I truly hope to never see you again, but unfortunately, I fear we may always be like family throughout my life.

I just hope that at some point our relationship turns into a permanently distant one, and I can remember you much more fondly as positivity delivers a healthy new life for me.

Just please always understand – you are not me, and I am not you.

Love always,
Me

Put My Anxiety In Rice – Mental Illness Is Not A Trending Topic (Ep. 4)

It’s been awhile, but Put My Anxiety In Rice is officially back after a lengthy hiatus. After dealing with some personal matters, and feeling a bit low on the motivational side of things, a spark of passion finally came back into my system.

For episode 4, I decided to address a particular mental health topic that I felt has been an epidemic lately. While mental health has widely been discussed heavily in the past 6 months or so, which is incredible, it’s been a bit less inclusive of mental illnesses. Many have been sharing their dark times, and have seen success in their stories coming to the forefront. However, this new trend as a remedy of going viral on the Internet comes with some issues, and that’s how depression and anxiety are portrayed. While many experience depressing periods in their lives, living with mental illness is a lifelong battle of those same symptoms that don’t necessarily appear just during dark times.

Watch what I have to say about mental health becoming a “trending topic” above, and let me know your thoughts. If you are currently in a mental health crisis and need some support, be sure to call the Mental Health Crisis hotline at 1-800-273-TALK.

Put My Anxiety In Rice – The ‘Tough Skin’ Crisis (Episode 2)

After a few delays, I’m back with my second episode of Put My Anxiety In Rice. I’m ecstatic about all of the amazing feedback from the debut episode, and I’m grateful for all of those who are supportive of being on this mental health journey with me.

On this next episode, I wanted to tackle a topic that I find a bit more controversial, but nonetheless important for discussion. Being told to have a “tough skin” is a slippery slope for most people with anxiety or a mental illness. It’s not necessarily in our control to be able to handle certain situations, thoughts, or triggered emotions, and being in an industry or work environment where we are required to have a “tough skin” can be near impossible.

I decided to address the topic, and encourage the “emotionless” mind state of many industries to disappear from our perspectives. It can be much more harmful than helpful to those with a mental illness. Just because an individual may be more reactive on an emotional front, it does not mean they should be hindered from an industry when they have talent to offer. Success shouldn’t only be given to those who have that “tough skin.” Embrace your sensitivity.

Peep what I had to say on episode 2 of Put My Anxiety In Rice above, and let me know your comments.

If you have any suggestions for mental health topics, advice, or want to just vent, email me at lindseyindiatv@gmail.com!

Put My Anxiety In Rice – The Mental Health Vlog

For those who have read, peeped, or glimpsed at my site, it’s easily become evident that aside from hip hop culture, mental health is extremely prominent in my life.

Earlier this year, I shared my story of dealing with an anxiety disorder for a number of years now, and how hip hop saved my life. It hasn’t been easy to come to terms with, but after receiving tons of messages of support from friends, family, and strangers, I know it was needed. This year, I’ve lost a big piece of myself, and I’m still working on finding my purpose.

After confessing to some harsh truths this year, I thought it would be best to use them to help spark the mental health discussion we all need. While Hollywood and the media like to portray mental health in maybe a more dramatized or inaccurate sense, I decided to turn on my camera, sit in the safe space that is my room, and just talk about this difficult topic and conversation.

While I do cover some of my own hardships, I’m hoping that the focus will remain on those currently suffering from mental illnesses, as well as those who don’t know what it’s like to suffer.

Watch above for episode one of my new vlog series, ‘Put My Anxiety In Rice,’ and let me know your thoughts, and personal experiences.

Unfinished Ramblings: How Hip Hop Actually Really But Seriously Saved My Life

I know what you’re probably thinking by the title. This is the story of another human being finding the light at the end of their depression tunnel through music, and being “brave enough” to write about it.

Well, it is, but it also isn’t. This article is going to go up unfinished, just like my story is. All I can promise is that I won’t claim to love music any more than you (You know that kind of person I’m talking about). I can explain.

My name is Lindsey, and I suffer from an anxiety disorder.

Firstly, why does that seem like the most unsettlingly fitting way to describe myself within society? Because society has categorized us this way, by our mental state, without even flinching for a second. I once heard that the best way to describe having anxiety is to tell someone to imagine that every small decision they make has life or death consequences. This could not create a better image of the clutterfuck that is my emotions on a daily basis in any aspect. On the surface, and underneath, I’ve suffered from anxiety practically my whole life, having heard “Stop worrying” every single day, but it wasn’t until just about 7 years ago that I actually took some sort of control of it.

Of course, this may seem like the ordinary story of a person coming to a self-realization with a borderline mental illness. This may be what you read every other day in most health magazines or throughout those spontaneous mental health op-eds, but my story isn’t one of just learning to overcome it or defeat it. In fact, I would say that there is no solution to my problem, but rather how I learned to stop looking at it LIKE it was a problem. It’s still here, however, and kicking my ass unapologetically. My “success” story took years of denial, self-abuse, nearly 10 misdiagnosis cases, and 40 different kinds of wrong medications, leading to three cases of actually trying to take my life. Some of that came even after I accepted what my mind’s fate was.

When people say it’s a battle, those who do not suffer anxiety disorders don’t even know the half of what comes with that. They don’t know that just waking up and opening our eyes can be terrifying. Walking out of our doors every day and seeing someone we’re not fully comfortable with can build the adrenaline of watching a horror movie. Even sending the slightest risky text message here and there can make our hearts pound just as hard as bungee jumping off of a bridge. Portraying any type of confidence can be the most unnatural and uncomfortable situation we put ourselves in.

Anxiety doesn’t become important to your life until you are forced to have that open and honest conversation with yourself. “Okay, so what the fuck are we really doing here with this mind of yours, miss?” is probably something I’ve asked myself twice a day since I was maybe a sophomore in high school. I was in my first true state of confusion in all components of my life. It’s hard to admit these issues to yourself, or anyone who may be able to help, as even the slightest disorder can be treated like a legitimate disability in the world around us. That’s what hinders so many people from accepting themselves, seeking help, and learning to cope.

For me, the solution was actually right under my nose, and had actually been helping me deal with my day-to-day before I even knew it was there to do so. Yes, hip hop saved my life, and countless times for that matter, but to me, it didn’t become my therapy or escape until I was deep in debt with my depression. As a former dancer, I had a producer’s ear, rather than an MC’s when I started listening to the greatness at around 10-11 years old, and would constantly be checking for the beats to fit my mind’s scattered choreography in the years following. Eventually, I gave up my love for dancing professionally sometime after high school, and found myself drowning in my own thoughts. The distraction was long gone by that point, and the anxiety was coming on like a tidal wave after facing many unexpected downfalls in my life.

That’s where hip hop came in to give me a fair rescue. I always felt like something in my breath deeply breathed my love and admiration for the culture and sound, but I didn’t feel that I would fit in very smoothly. Being a small town girl from Connecticut, I was used to being inside of an ignorant and naive bubble, but something never felt right about being there. It wasn’t that I could so much relate to the likes of a Nas, a Biggie, a duo like Outkast, or even an LL Cool J, as I lived a nearly opposite life growing up, but something about their hunger to escape into bigger and better things went straight into my ears, and sank deeply into my veins. It pressed a button in me that said something wasn’t right about where I was, who I was around on a daily basis in that town, and the life I would be living if I attempted to stay.

Even just particular projects single-handedly shaped me into being able to accept my anxiety and depression over the years. When I say an album like God’s Sois extremely meaningful for me, it’s hard for people to understand why, and that’s perfectly fine. I don’t expect them to comprehend why I stay stuck on one of Nas’ more lackluster projects in comparison to his best works. To me, I felt every aspect of the darkness spit on that album, and it resonated so highly with my own. Even Common’s Be helped me to feel like my emotional roller coasters, and desire to find authenticity in people, was more of a normalcy for a human being than the pretentious and judgmental tone that swept through my hometown. I came to my own zen, one way or another, thanks to one of the most criticized cultures in society.

If hip hop had never touched my ears, and brushed so hard against my soul, I probably wouldn’t be here today, let alone even writing this. While not everyone is going to be a fan of me wanting to be part of the culture, or contributing to it, going after my vision to do so has done more for my life than anything else can. I would have been nothing, and I mean seriously nothing, without it, and it’s unbelievable to me that I can even just be part of conversations about it, let alone helping to spark some. Hip hop culture truly is one of the most special aspects of society, and if you get a chance to be part of it, make sure you go ahead and let it change your life graciously.

I know, I know. I’ve been mostly rambling, but this piece will remain unfinished as most of my rants tend to, and I hope it opens some hearts up. My battle with anxiety is never over, and it’s not something that will be “defeated” at any point, but it’s one of the many intricate pieces that impacts my every move.

This is the introduction to diving into my mind. Thank you, hip hop. Genuinely.

-Lindsey India